6 November, 2019 Physician Lyonel Ng

5 Workplace Workouts Towards A Better Posture

Posture can be defined as the “alignment of body parts in relation to one another at any given moment”, and having a good posture is essential for a pain-free life. On the other hand, poor posture brings about a whole set of issues such as decreased breathing capacity, poor internal organ function, reduced mental function, musculoskeletal imbalance, and a poor flow of Qi. The last two can lead to chronic pain. Muscular imbalance further aggravates the issue of poor posture, thus resulting in an unending cycle.

Joint movement and good posture is achieved thanks to the intrinsic system of the antagonist and agonist muscle groups working synergistically. Persistent use of certain muscles without adequate exercise of the opposing muscles leads to overstretching of one muscle and excessive tightening or shortening of another. If this poor posture is not corrected, the muscles will adapt and begin to take on their new length over time.

久坐伤肉 means that prolonged sitting is detrimental to our muscles’ strength and elasticity. In this article, we introduced 5 stretches to improve the elasticity of the muscles, this time we will introduce 5 workouts (~15 minutes) to strengthen the muscles, which can be done once a day during break time.

Neck

Sides (Left and Right)

  • With the head upright and facing forward, place the right hand on the right side of the head
  • Tilt the head to the right while applying an equal opposing force in the opposite direction with the right hand
    (Do note there should be minimum visible tilting of the head)
  • Hold this isometric contraction for 15 seconds and switch sides.
  • Repeat for a total of 3 sets

 

Back

  • Similarly, with head upright and facing forward, interlace the fingers of both hands and place them at the back of the head
  • Push the head backwards against the hands while keep the chin tucked in
  • Hold for 15 seconds
  • Repeat for a total of 3 sets

 

Upper back

  • Lift the arms up laterally, above shoulder level with palm facing upward
  • When breathing in, pull the shoulder blades backward and hold 1-2 seconds
  • When breathing out, relax the shoulder blades, while still maintaining the arms above shoulder level. That is 1 repetition.
  • Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions

 

Knees

  • Sit at the edge of the chair/stool with only the butt in full contact, along with the knees together and hands on the knees for additional support
  • Shift the buttocks such that only the left buttock is in contact with the chair. This will be the starting position
  • Proceed to lift the buttocks off the chair, shift it to the left and sit with the right buttock.
  • Lift the buttocks off the chair again and back to the starting position. This is 1 repetition.
  • Do as many repetitions as possible for 30 seconds, repeat for a total of 3 sets.
  • Do note to perform this on a stable chair/stool

Calf

  • Stand at a distance of about the length of 1 arm away, facing the wall, with both hands on the wall for stabilisation
  • Lift both heels off the floor, while keeping the body upright and the core stable.
  • Slowly lower the heels back down until they are about to touch the floor, before lifting them back up again. That is 1 repetition.
  • Do 3 sets of 10-20 repetitions

 

Gluteus Medius

  • Stand sideways with the left shoulder against the wall
  • Lift the left leg up with a bent knee until the thigh is parallel to the floor
  • Lift the left hip up and towards the wall
    (During a correct execution of this action, a muscle contraction should be felt at the right hip region)
  • Hold for 3 seconds
  • Repeat for 10 times and switch sides
  • Perform 3 sets on each side

 

Note: In case of any numbness, dizziness or other discomfort during these stretches/exercises, please stop immediately and seek professional advice before continuing.

Article by Physician Lyonel Ng

About the Author

Physician Lyonel Ng Physician Lyonel Ng is a registered TCM Practitioner in PULSE. He graduated in B.Sc. in Biomedical Science and Bachelor’s Degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine from Nanyang Technological University and Beijing University of Chinese Medicine. Physician Ng believes that many pain, especially chronic pain, originates from one’s lifestyle choices. With a good understanding of patients’ lifestyle and grasp in the biomechanics of the body, he tailors a complete treatment plan consisting of various acupuncture and manipulation techniques to relieve pain and prevent future occurrence of pain.

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